Episode

5/2 The COVID Crooks Who Screwed Us Over w/ J. David McSwane

May 2, 2022

Sam and Emma host J. David McSwane, reporter at ProPublica, to discuss his recent book Pandemic Inc.: Chasing the Capitalists and Thieves Who Got Rich While We Got Sick, on the fraudulent paths of government money at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. David begins by covering the state of our infrastructure (or lack thereof) at the start of the pandemic, including an incredible 1% of necessary strategic reserves of PPE and other equipment which had been cut down in the wake of Democrats’ sequestration attempts in the 2010s and Donald Trump’s general crippling of anything governmental. Moving into the actual governmental response, David, Emma, and Sam then dive into how the execution of early pandemic policy genuinely made the preparations look effective, as nearly half of the pandemic response budget was swallowed up by corporations who held largely expired goods, setting a government contracting frenzy shoveling cash to any dude on the streets who said they had access to masks. Exploring this, David walks through his experiences on Robert Stewart’s private jets, jumping across the country clearly in search of more excuses for the never-to-materialize masks, before getting into the story of Mike Bowen’s Prestige Ameritech, perhaps the only legitimate source of masks that the US Government explored, and how his deal fell through due to personality differences, and touching on how one Fillakit LLC acquired their contract and shipped pre-expanded soda bottles through FEMA and across the country. Next, David McSwane dives into the role of the Kushner children in expanding this fraud beyond government contracts to the Paycheck Protection Program, diving into the myriad pseudo corporations and fake farms that sprang up to claim millions. Sam and Emma also touch on the Connecticut bill attempting to protect out-of-state abortion seekers, the White House’s ongoing internal battle over whether or not to cancel student debt, and the incredible fraud of the New York Times as Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns continue to trickle out years-old behind-the-scenes drama from Republicans over Build Back Better.

And in the Fun Half: Emma pays a visit to the NLRB’s vote tally for the Amazon labor fight while Sam takes a call from John in New Mexico on MR’s relationship to their mods and covers the Right’s constant ideology that looks for culture war openings, meaning gay people’s right to exist is just as much up for debate in 2022 as it was in 1982. Casey from Washington calls in about beetles, wildfire, and Canadian lumber supply, Charlie Kirk explores the positive impacts of recessions (they fuck over workers and undermine their leverage), and Sam and Emma walk through a harrowing Marist poll in the lead-up to the midterms. Ron DeSantis rips off Trump’s Gold Card, and Ben Shapiro discusses the violent culture war instigation that was Democrats giving Black folks the right to vote. Will Cain finds out some of his Fox co-hosts might not be vaccinated, David from LA explores the CA Governor’s race, and the NLRB Amazon vote trickles in, plus, your calls and IMs!

Purchase tickets for the live show in Boston on May 15th HERE:

Subscribe to the AMQuickie newsletter here:  https://madmimi.com/signups/170390/join

Join the Majority Report Discord! http://majoritydiscord.com/

Get all your MR merch at our store: https://shop.majorityreportradio.com/

Check out today’s sponsors:

Aura: Protect yourself from America’s fastest-growing crime. Try Aura for 14 days for free: https://aura.com/majority

Ritual: We deserve to know what we’re putting in our bodies and why. Ritual’s clean, vegan-friendly multivitamin is formulated with high-quality nutrients in bioavailable forms your body can actually use. Get key nutrients without the B.S. Ritual is offering my listeners ten percent off during your first three months. Visit https://ritual.com/?utm_source=arm&utm_medium=podcast&utm_campaign=majority to start your Ritual today.

Support the St. Vincent Nurses today! https://action.massnurses.org/we-stand-with-st-vincents-nurses/

Check out Matt’s show, Left Reckoning, on Youtube, and subscribe on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/leftreckoning

Subscribe to Matt’s other show Literary Hangover on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/literaryhangover

Check out The Nomiki Show on YouTube. https://www.patreon.com/thenomikishow

Check out Matt Binder’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/mattbinder

Subscribe to Brandon’s show The Discourse on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/ExpandTheDiscourse

Check out The Letterhack’s upcoming Kickstarter project for his new graphic novel! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/milagrocomic/milagro-heroe-de-las-calles

Check out Jamie’s podcast, The Antifada. https://www.patreon.com/theantifada, on iTunes, or at https://www.twitch.tv/theantifada (streaming every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 7pm ET!)

Subscribe to Discourse Blog, a newsletter and website for progressive essays and related fun partly run by AM Quickie writer Jack Crosbie. https://discourseblog.com/

Subscribe to AM Quickie writer Corey Pein’s podcast News from Nowhere. https://www.patreon.com/newsfromnowhere 

Follow the Majority Report crew on Twitter:

@SamSeder

@EmmaVigeland

@MattBinder

@MattLech

@BF1nn

@BradKAlsop

The Majority Report with Sam Seder – https://majorityreportradio.com/

Past Episodes

Sam and Emma host Harvey Kaye, professor emeritus of democracy at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay, and Alan Minsky, executive director of the Progressive Democrats of America, to discuss their recent mission statement published in Common Dreams, the 21st Century Economic Bill of ...
Sam and Emma host Blake Emerson, assistant professor at the UCLA School of Law, to discuss some of the recent rulings coming out of the 5th Circuit. Then, Sam and Emma are joined by Leah Litman, assistant professor at Michigan Law School and contributor to Slate, to discuss the recent SCOTUS ...
Sam and Emma host David Dayen, executive editor at the American Prospect, to discuss his recent piece in the Intercept "BLOWING THE TRUCK WHISTLE: A Carbon Dioxide Delivery Driver’s Long Journey to Expose Airgas", on one of many examples of the US’ failing infrastructure. Sam and Emma begin by ...